Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Wedding Checklist - Pamamanhikan

Planning the biggest and special day of our lives seemed like such a daunting task for my fiance and me. I'm walking down the aisle only once in a lifetime so I vowed to give it my all and made sure that it would be a day worthy of celebrating seven (7) years of love and friendship.  

My advice to all engaged couples or bride-to-be's out there who don't know where to begin is to simply get organized!  After you scour through tons of bridal magazines, browse a million websites and listen to dozens of friendly advices from well-meaning friends and family, it's easy to get lost in the wedding maze of ideas out there.  So grab a notebook that you can scribble on for the wedding ideas that you really like, list of suppliers and all other wedding planning details that's up ahead. Here's the checklist that we used for our big day:

  1. Pamamanhikan
  2. Set the DATE of the big day!
  3. List of Godparents, Sponsors, and Entourage
  4. Your Wedding Theme: Color Motif, theme concept/idea, your wedding dresses - groom, bride, entourage, immediate family and sponsors 
  5. Your Wedding Ceremony:  Church Venue, Officiating Priest/Officiant, Required Documents, Ceremony Proper, Misalette, Choir/Quartet/Mass Songs, Paraphernalia, Wedding Vows
  6. Your Wedding Reception Venue: Caterer, Reception Menu, Reception Program, Your Wedding Cake Supplier, Reception Songs, Your Audio- Visual Presentation, Tokens and Favors for sponsors & guests, entertainer/s, program host/s, other wedding traditions
  7. Save the Date and Formal Invitations, Your Wedding Website
  8. Your Guest List
  9. Your Wedding Rings/Bands
  10. Important Wedding Suppliers: Florist, Photographer & Videographer, Designer, Stylist & Make-up Artist, Wedding Coordinator, Cake Decorator, Choir/Quartet/Entertainer
  11. Round of Parties: Bridal Shower and Bachelor Party, Engagement Party, Despedida de Soltera, Rehearsal Dinner
  12. The Honeymoon


"Uso pa ba ang pamamanhikan?" Taking a look at the rootword panhik, which refers to the act of climbing a flight of stairs, Filipino traditional courtship will include a very important event where the groom-to-be aspires to ask for the hand of the woman he wants to marry.  He does this by going to the woman's house or residence, together with his family, to formally ask the permission of her family to give their blessings.  Today's pamamanhikan or pamalaye in Visayan is simply rooted in this age-old Filipino tradition of honor and respect for the parents of the bride and groom, and seeking their blessings and approval of their plans to start a life together as husband and wife.

Since we've been boyfriend and girlfriend for the last seven (7) years, it came as no surprise as we announced to our families that we were engaged in December of 2007.  Both my fiance and I did not want a formal and traditional pamamanhikan so we decided to invite both of our families at a restaurant where we can just enjoy the good food and relax.  This happened in March 2008 and it was then that he (my fiance) sincerely asked my parents for my hand.  Whatever type of pamamanhikan you decide, the following are some of the things that happen or are expected to happen during the pamamanhikan:
  • The Bride and Groom's families meet (If they haven't met before, bride and groom must introduce their parents/ siblings/ family to each other)
  • The Groom formally asks the hand of his fiancee from her parents/family
  • The Bride's family formally gives the blessing - in our case, my Dad gave an impromptu message which included his blessings for our wedding plans; My fiance's parents followed suit and gave their message for us as well.  The heartfelt messages of our parents made that night very touching and memorable for us.
  • Discussion on some of the wedding plans - particularly the wedding date. We originally wanted to wed on February of 2009 so that we can have enough time to prepare since we were holding the wedding in my hometown in Davao, but both sets of parents said that was too far away!!!  With much prodding, we set the big day to October 18!  7 short months of planning to go!
  • I heard from friends that the wedding budget is discussed during the pamamanhikan.  Thank God that did not happen in our case since I personally find that tacky!  But if the groom or bride's family offers to pay for all or a portion of the wedding's expenses, then by all means accept graciously.  In our case, both my fiance and I saved up for the wedding which gave us a free hand in planning the wedding of our dreams!

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